Welcome to the Final Straw Foundation! We are a registered UK charity (no. 1191500) working with local communities and businesses to highlight the impact of plastic pollution on our environment and to try to minimise the amount of plastic entering our local seas and wider oceans. We started in Emsworth, Hampshire in 2018 as a group of volunteers giving our time to help clean up our local community spaces and, in time, the surrounding areas. We originally focussed on encouraging businesses to cut back on the amount of disposable, pointless plastic that is used. We ran a few beach cleans and started talking to the local communities in the Solent area, and grew from there. We started out as the Final Straw Emsworth, then needed to grow because we had so much interest in the campaign and so became the Final Straw Solent. We were a non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) from June 2018 through to September 2020, at which point we gained our charity registration and became the Final Straw Foundation CIO.
We work with many different types of business on sustainability and helping them find ethical and sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic in their activities. We have a very busy school outreach programme and have reached thousands of children in the Solent area through assemblies and workshops. We work with community groups, giving talks and running activities and encouraging people to avoid single-use plastic and how to best dispose of it if they do need to use it. We still run regular beach and community cleans as it is a great way to get back in touch with nature, with benefits that include the obvious clear-up of litter, but also meeting like-minded people and getting some often well-needed head space and connection with nature.
2020 has been a very difficult year for us, as with so many organisations and businesses, limiting the work we can do with schools and beach cleaning. We are seeing a huge impact in litter volumes with the rise of disposable PPE. We are working hard to find ways to help improve our environment around the constantly changing rules and regulations around Covid19, and are looking forward to new and interesting ways to do this over the coming months!